Well, he was wrong. Derek Jeter, it appears, had hoped that by announcing his retirement back in February prior to the start of the season would allow people to focus on the game a little more than just speculating about what he might do come October.
The announcement may have prevented the speculation but it upped the importance of his farewell tour which has in a lot of ways begun to overshadow the Jeter, the game, his life, the fan’s lives, everything.
It’s pretty obvious that some of the excessive fanfare has made him a little embarrassed or uncomfortable. It isn’t that he isn’t grateful. As always, Jeter has been gracious and thankful. Yet the way in which his tour has made Mariano Rivera‘s (which was huge!) look tiny is, not completely shocking, maybe just a little over the top.
Now do not get me wrong here. I may not be a Yankees fan but I am most definitely a Derek Jeter fan. He has handled his entire career in the most professional, classy way I know I have never seen another player do in my lifetime.
I have seen many who have handled their careers in the complete opposite way but never in the way Jeter has handled himself personally and professionally.
Jeter conducted his entire career, that has always been on baseball’s biggest stage, in the best way possible. Even the New York Yankees arch-rival Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell described how we all feel about the Captain back in February,
“And yet you realize that players don’t go on forever. I guess in a word, he epitomizes the word professional, in just the success he’s had and the way he’s conducted himself on and off the field in a city like New York, and to do it in the style that he has. He’s synonymous with winning and just a Yankee legend.”
Jeter is a baseball legend not just a Yankee legend. Let’s face it, even if you don’t like Derek Jeter (and deep down I know you #re2pect him a little bit somewhere) you can’t deny his incredibly successful career and the way he has conducted himself with the dignity and class.
That is already the stuff of MLB legend and the guy isn’t even retired yet. However the day is creeping ever closer.
The course of events over the season and Jeter’s looming departure from the game have been in the forefront of my mind since February. However, they were brought to my attention even more so in last few days.
I began thinking of just how big of a deal Jeter’s retirement has become. It’s become so big that things that would normally be big news have been largely ignored by the media.
It’s so big that his new Gatorade commercial might be my favorite commercial of all time. I cried. I wasn’t sobbing or making a sound but there were tears streaming down my face because it so encompassed the essence that is Derek Jeter.
The commercial was a representation of the reasons I, no we as baseball fans all, love the game so much.
Here I am sounding too serious when this idea started out as being a somewhat funny take on how everyone has been honoring Jeter. So take it however you like (preferably as a little bit of comedy in the midst of a serious time) but here are 6 reasons that indicate that Jeter’s farewell tour has taken on a life of it’s own, told (sort of) from Jeter’s perspective or more specifically how I would imagine he may have looked at all the fanfare.